I hope you are having a great month!
Next week is Thanksgiving and though I am in favor of Giving Thanks and Being Giving all year long, it’s seems the appropriate time to reflect on gratitude.
Our society tends to value growth more than anything. The story goes that the more we have, the more we strive for and the harder we work, the happier we’ll be because then we will be worth something. But science tells us otherwise. Constantly striving for the next goal without appreciating what we already have and what it took to get to that place will never fill the void and will most likely lead to more unhappiness and stress.
Don’t get me wrong, yoga is a goal oriented practice. We are moving towards what we see ourselves becoming. If we are not the happiest, healthiest, most vibrant version of ourselves, then we could use some yoga to help us shed the old patterns of the past that hold us back from expressing our true essence. Yes, we have some growing to do.
However, gratitude is the seed from which growth occurs. Without gratitude, grounded growth will always be out of our reach. We will have no anchor from which to explore the great unknown of the future. It is only through a deep appreciation rooted in the many gifts of our lives and the lessons we have learned to arrive at the place we are, that we can start to grow with a conscious awareness that there is only so much we can do and nothing in life is guaranteed so we might as well slow down and take the wonder in. If we cannot appreciate now, then when?
At the most basic level of the 8 limbs, we are seeking the balance of opposites. The second of the 8 limbs, the niyamas, deals with our personal lives. The balance we seek is between growth (tapas, saucha) and gratitude (santosha and isvara pranidhana) with a healthy balance of reflection in between (svadyaya).
So, when you find yourself longing for the future and a new goal…stop, take a moment and reflect upon and savor all that you have. A great practice is to mindfully write down 5 things you are grateful for each day. Think about each one by closing your eyes, seeing that which you appreciate and taking a deep breath before moving on to the next. It is a practice. Just like we practice poses and breath work and meditation. Add it to your life and see what happens.
We have some wonderful workshops coming up and our annual Holiday party is in just over 2 weeks! We will have all sorts of fun that evening as well as our annual discount which will be the biggest discount we’ve ever had! It will be a great time to stock up on classes for yourself and others as well as retail items.
May we all have a wonderful Holiday filled with all the wonderful gifts of our lives and the awareness to truly appreciate them. This community is certainly at the top of my gratitude list every day. Thank you for your part in making Yoga Blend the sweet place it is.
With infinite love and gratitude…